The ICC is world cricket's governing body. It is responsible for managing the playing conditions and Code of Conduct for international fixtures, expanding the game and organising the major international tournaments, including the World Cup. Its mission statement says the ICC "will lead by promoting the game as a global sport, protecting the spirit of cricket and optimising commercial opportunities for the benefit of the game."
Ten national governing bodies are currently Full Members of the ICC; full membership qualifies a nation (or geographic area) to play official Test matches. A candidate for full membership must meet a number of playing and administrative criteria, after which elevation is decided by a vote among existing Full Members. There are also currently 33 Associate Members (non-Test-playing nations or geographic areas where cricket is firmly established and organised) and 55 Affiliate Members (other countries or geographic areas where the ICC recognises that cricket is played in accordance with the Laws).
The ICC was founded in 1909 as the Imperial Cricket Conference by three foundation members: England, Australia and South Africa. Other countries (or geographic areas) became Full Members and thus acquired Test-match status as follows: India, New Zealand and West Indies in 1926, Pakistan in 1952, Sri Lanka in 1981, Zimbabwe in 1992 and Bangladesh in 2000. South Africa ceased to be a member on leaving the Commonwealth in 1961, but was re-elected as a Full Member in 1991.
In 1965, the Conference was renamed the International Cricket Conference and new rules permitted the election of countries from outside the Commonwealth for the first time. The first Associate members (Fiji and USA), who had diluted voting rights, were admitted. However, foundation members retained a veto over all resolutions.
In 1989, the Conference was again renamed without changing its initials. The new International Cricket Council adopted revised rules, aimed at producing an organisation which could make a larger number of binding decisions, rather than simply make recommendations to national governing bodies. In 1993, the Council, which had previously been administered by MCC, gained its own secretariat and chief executive, though its headquarters remained at Lord's. The category of Foundation Member was abolished. Sir Clyde Walcott became the first non-British chairman.
In 1997, the Council became an incorporated body, with an executive board, and a president instead of a chairman. One Australian, Malcolm Speed, succeeded another, David Richards, as chief executive in July 2001. The ICC remained at Lord's, with a commercial base in Monaco, although in 2005 it moved to Dubai, where it is believed there would be organisational and tax advantages.
President: Each Full Member has the right, by rotation, to appoint ICC's president. In 2006 the process was briefly changed and a committee appointed to select the next president, but they failed at the first attempt, unable to split Sharad Pawar from India and David Morgan from England, and the selection reverted to rotation between six regions - India/Sri Lanka, Pakistan/Bangladesh, West Indies/England, Australia/New Zealand, South Africa/Zimbabwe and then a choice from the Associates and Affiliates.
1997-2000 Jagmohan Dalmiya (India)
2000-2003 Malcolm Gray (Australia)
2003-2006 Ehsan Mani (Pakistan)
2006-2007 Percy Sonn (South Africa)
2007-2008 Ray Mali (South Africa)
2008-2010 David Morgan (England)
2010-2012 Sharad Pawar (India)
2012-2014 Alan Isaac (New Zealand)
Chief Executive: Appointed by the ICC council.
1993-2001 Dave Richards (Australia)
2001-2008 Malcolm Speed (Australia)
2008-2012 Haroon Lorgat (South Africa)
2012- David Richardson (South Africa)
Full Members: Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Associate Members: Argentina (1974), Bermuda (1966), Belgium (1991), Botswana (2001), Canada (1968), Cayman Islands (2002), Denmark (1966), Fiji (1965), France (1998), Germany (1999), Gibraltar (1969), Hong Kong (1969), Ireland (1993), Israel (1974), Italy (1995), Japan (1989), Jersey (2007), Kenya (1981), Kuwait (1998), Malaysia (1967), Namibia (1992), Nepal (1996), Netherlands (1966), Nigeria (2002), Papua New Guinea (1973), Scotland (1994), Singapore (1974), Tanzania (2001), Thailand (1995), Uganda (1998), United Arab Emirates (1990), USA (1965), Zambia (2003).
Affiliate Members: Afghanistan (2001), Austria (1992), Bahamas (1987), Bahrain (2001), Belize (1997), Bhutan (2001), Brazil (2002), Brunei (1992), Cameroon (2007), Chile (2002), China (2004), Cook Islands (2000), Costa Rica (2002), Croatia (2001), Cuba (2002), Cyprus (1999), Czech Republic (2000), Falkland Islands (2007), Finland (2000), Hungary (2012), Gambia (2002), Ghana (2002), Greece (1995), Guernsey (2005), Indonesia (2001), Iran (2003), Isle of Man (2004), Jersey (2005), Lesotho (2001), Luxembourg (1998), Malawi (2003), Maldives (2001), Mali (2005), Malta (1998), Mexico (2004), Morocco (1999), Mozambique (2003), Norway (2000), Oman (2000), Panama (2002), Peru (2007), Philippines (2000), Portugal (1996), Qatar (1999), Russia (2012), Rwanda (2003), St Helena (2001), Samoa (2000), Saudi Arabia (2003), Sierra Leone (2002), South Korea (2001), Slovenia (2005), Spain (1992), Suriname (2002), Swaziland (2007), Sweden (1997), Tonga (2000), Turks & Caicos Islands (2002) and Vanuatu (1995).
The following governing bodies for cricket shall be eligible for election.
Full Members: The governing body for cricket (recognised by the ICC) of a country, or countries associated for cricket purposes, or a geographical area, from which representative teams are qualified to play official Test matches.
Associate Members: The governing body for cricket (recognised by the ICC) of a country, or countries associated for cricket purposes, or a geographical area, which does not qualify as a Full Member but where cricket is firmly established and organised.
Affiliate Members: The governing body for cricket (recognised by the ICC) of a country, or countries associated for cricket purposes, or a geographical area (which is not part of one of those already constituted as a Full or Associate Member) where the ICC recognises that cricket is played in accordance with the Laws of Cricket. Affiliate Members have no right to vote or to propose or second resolutions at ICC meetings.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of Cricinfo